Tag: Assad, Bashar al-

The New Middle East of a Post-Sectarian Generation

BEIRUT — Her voice broke. Tears overcame Zeinab Mirza, a political studies lecturer at the American University of Beirut. She was crying for Lebanon’s awakening. “In a way,” she said, “We were in a coma before.” Something is going on in the Middle East. People from Beirut to Baghdad are in the streets clamoring for […]

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Syria Peace Talks to Open After a Long, Strange Month

GENEVA — The first United Nations mediator who tried to broker peace in Syria declared it “mission impossible” and abandoned the effort. That was seven years and hundreds of thousands of deaths ago. Now, as Mediator No. 4 prepares to try again, diplomats appear to be setting their sights lower and choosing their language carefully. […]

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It Always Comes Back to Syria

Until this month, the Syrian revolution-turned-war had largely slipped from the news pages. It bursts into view in snapshots: the image of a drowned toddler, face down on a Turkish beach as his family fled a war that has killed at least half a million people; the black flags of the Islamic State fluttering, and […]

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‘What Is Going to Happen to Us?’ Inside ISIS Prison, Children Ask Their Fate

NORTHEASTERN SYRIA — The prisoners cover the floor like a carpet of human despair. Many are missing eyes or limbs, some are bone-thin from sickness, and most wear orange jumpsuits similar to what the Islamic State, the terrorist group they once belonged to, dressed its own captives in before it killed them. Upstairs, jammed into […]

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Trump’s Syria Trifecta: A Win for Putin, a Loss for the Kurds and Lots of Uncertainty for Our Allies

On the eve of the Iraq war, in 2003, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain addressed a joint session of Congress about America’s foreign policy mission: “In some small corner of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these places I’ve never been to but always wanted to go,” said Blair, “there’s a […]

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Erdogan and Putin Meet as Syria Cease-Fire Nears an End

SOCHI, Russia — The leaders of Turkey and Russia were meeting at this Black Sea resort city on Tuesday, an opportunity for both of them to consolidate their gains in Syria in the wake of President Trump’s sudden withdrawal of American troops. The meeting began hours before the end of an American-brokered truce between Turkish […]

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Trump Cease-Fire Deal Cements Turkey’s Gains in Syria

WASHINGTON — The cease-fire agreement reached with Turkey by Vice President Mike Pence amounts to a near-total victory for Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who gains territory, pays little in penalties and appears to have outmaneuvered President Trump. The best that can be said for the agreement is that it may stop the killing in […]

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The World Condemns Erdogan’s War on Kurds. But Turkey Applauds.

ISTANBUL — A raft of new American sanctions. An embargo on European arms sales. The indictment of a state-owned Turkish bank. Threats to isolate Turkey within NATO. A rise in global sympathy for the Kurdish cause. And the Syrian Army back in northern Syria. The problems keep escalating for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, […]

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The Way Forward in Syria

ISTANBUL — The sudden decision by President Trump to endorse Turkey’s move to send its troops into Syria and pull out most of the American forces posted there seems to have shocked the country’s political and military establishment. American analysts and policymakers see events of the past week as largely benefiting Russia, the Syrian government, […]

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Kurds in Syria Were Sold Out by President Trump, 2020 Democrats Say

It was an unusual juxtaposition for Democrats — calling a Republican president weak militarily. That’s how the contenders for the party’s nomination framed the recent withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria under President Trump, who they said during Tuesday night’s debate had created turmoil with his impulsive foreign policy decision making. “It’s been the […]

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The U.S. Turned Syria’s North Into a Tinderbox. Then Trump Lit a Match.

To understand why President Trump’s withdrawal from Syria has unleashed such violence, it helps to see this moment as the culmination of a problem that has been building since the conflict began. In the war’s first days, northern Syria’s large Kurdish population effectively seceded and, later, came to control the area. The war’s many actors, […]

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Assad Forces Surge Forward in Syria as U.S. Pulls Back

DOHUK, Iraq — Syrian government forces streamed into the country’s northeast on Monday, seizing towns where they had not stepped foot in years and filling a vacuum opened up by President Trump’s decision to abandon the United States’ Syrian Kurdish allies. Less than a week after Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria with Mr. […]

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Who Are the Kurds, and Why Is Turkey Attacking Them in Syria?

The Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria has complicated an already chaotic war. What began eight years ago as a series of nonviolent protests against the Syrian government morphed into an international conflict, between dozens of local factions, the Islamic State and several foreign countries. Now, an American ally is attacking a group […]

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Syria Live Updates: Assad’s Forces Move Into Area Hit by Turkey

Here’s what you need to know: Syrian Army joins Kurds in a major power shift. ImageSyrian troops entered Tel Tamer on Monday shortly after the government forged an alliance with Kurdish forces.CreditDelil Souleiman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images The Syrian Army entered the town of Tel Tamer in northeastern Syria, the state news media reported on […]

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The Story of a Kurdish General

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher Turkey has invaded Kurdish-controlled territory in Syria, upending a fragile peace in the region and inciting sectarian bloodshed. The Trump administration has ordered a full evacuation of the 1,000 American troops that remain in northeastern Syria, […]

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Syria Live Updates: Assad’s Army Faces Off With Turkey

ImageSyrian Democratic Forces fighters killed during the Turkish advance in the Syrian town of Qamishli are buried on Saturday.CreditBaderkhan Ahmad/Associated Press Kurds seek help from a surprising new ally: Assad. It has been only a week since President Trump pulled back American forces in Syria and effectively gave Turkey the green light to cross the […]

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The Kurds’ Prisons and Detention Camps for ISIS Members, Explained

WASHINGTON — The escalating chaos in northern Syria as Turkey presses forward with its attack on the United States’ erstwhile Kurdish allies is raising fears about the fate of thousands of Islamic State detainees that the Kurds have been holding in makeshift wartime prisons. When announcing that he had cleared the way for the Turkish […]

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12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. One Culprit: Russia.

The Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed hospitals in Syria in order to crush the last pockets of resistance to President Bashar al-Assad, according to an investigation by The New York Times. An analysis of previously unpublished Russian Air Force radio recordings, plane spotter logs and witness accounts allowed The Times to trace bombings of […]

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How Times Reporters Proved Russia Bombed Syrian Hospitals

Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together. “Srabota,” the Russian pilot said. The Russian phrase, which directly translates as “it’s worked,” was confirmation that he had released his weapon on a target in Syria: Nabad al Hayat Surgical Hospital near the town […]

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Turkey Begins Syria Attack, Targeting Militia Backed by U.S.

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Turkey launched a planned military operation in northeastern Syria on Wednesday aimed at flushing out a Syrian militia backed by the United States, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote on Twitter. Mr. Erdogan said the operation aimed to “prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border,” but provided no other […]

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